According to a survey of 200,000 new car owners conducted by automotive research and consulting firm Strategic Vision, Apple ranked third on the brand consideration list, with 26 percent saying they "like" the Apple brand and would consider buying a car if Apple made one.
Apple ranked second only to Toyota and Honda, with the latter two accounting for 38 percent and 32 percent, respectively, while Ford (21 percent) and Tesla (20 percent) ranked fourth or fifth behind Apple. The survey targeted more than 45 global automotive brands.
The survey also showed that more than half of Tesla owners would consider buying an Apple car in the future.
In addition, Apple ranked highest in "quality impressions" at 24 percent, Toyota at 15 percent and Tesla at 11 percent. However, 34 percent also said they did not know enough about the car to make a judgment due to a lack of information.
"Of course, how well the Apple car performs in terms of styling, powertrain, product and other key features will ultimately determine the level of interest among car buyers." Alexander Edwards, president of Strategic Vision, said. "However, Apple's brand recognition and reputation provide a powerful platform for which automakers should be prepared."
Apple's plans to build a car have a lot of twists and turnsApple has not made any statements about producing a car, but has been hinting at building one, code-named Project Titan.
The idea was first revealed by Apple CEO Tim Cook in a media interview in 2017, followed by reports that Apple was shelving plans to build a car and would focus on developing driving technology for other automakers.
In a media interview last year, Cook again spoke of Apple's interest in building self-driving cars, while also expressing his admiration for Tesla.
"A self-driving car is a robot, so you can do a lot of things with self-driving. Let's wait and see what Apple can do," Cook said. "We like the idea of combining software, hardware and services and finding the point where it interacts, and that's where the magic will happen."
Apple's car-building plans have been ill-fated and subject to frequent personnel changes. Late last year, Kevin Lynch, vice president of technology, took over the project after the departure of key figure Doug Fields. Outside predictions are that Apple's electric car will be launched as early as 2025.